Advice from Last Year Nursing Student

  1. Hi,.
    Maybe I should call this "things that I wish other people told me". Anyway, I will be done with school in Dec. I am doing an evening ASN program since I work full-time plus.

    I have found that the pre-reqs that are required (Chem, A&P I &II, Micro, etc) for this program (I am not sure of the exact req for all programs, but most seem similar) are the BARE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS. If you do well enough, they will get you into the program, but by no means do they indicate if you will do well. We started with 80 students, went down to 45, by the second semester. Many people who failed who had all A & B's in the pre-reqs.

    Nursing is very heavily centered around Chemistry. If you struggled through or hated chemistry, you will NOT like Nursing. Perioid. I wish I had taken MORE CHEMISTRY.

    MATH - take more. You need to be very, very comfortable with math. Each semester we have a make or break medical calculations exam. So if you hate math, see above comments.

    If I had to do it all over again, I'd take my time doing the pre-reqs. I rushed through them to apply, and was not finished in time to apply the first year and had to sit out an entire year before being accepted. On the bright side, I did take an extra statistics class and an intermediate algebra class for the reasons sited above. I really should have taken more chemistry, that would have been a nice boost.

    Overall, as you may have heard, Nursing is probably one of the hardest programs no matter what state, what college, what program you do. I call it Nursing Bootcamp. The current role of nursing has moved away from bedside nursing to more delegation, and documentation. If you are going into nursing thinking it involves a lot direct patient care, you may not like the job options. Hospitals aren't interested in nurses who can't keep up with their documentation (or wait until the end of shift and then go into OT) throughout their shift.

    That's my advice.

    CrazyHands
    •  
  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   NightOwl0624
    Thanks for the comments. Sorry to hear about Chemistry, though. I'm taking Organic & bio right not and am not liking it all that much!
  4. by   Multicollinearity
    Interesting topic. I have a related question. I kept my A&P textbook. I'm assuming that I'll need to refer back to it in nursing school. What about my microbiology book? Sounds like it's a good thing that I got an A in chem and I'm taking organic next.
  5. by   justme1972
    I actually found two nursing programs that didn't require Chemistry at all, not even in high school. They weren't anywhere near I wanted to go, but I was just suprised.
  6. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    I actually found two nursing programs that didn't require Chemistry at all, not even in high school. They weren't anywhere near I wanted to go, but I was just suprised.
    Interesting that you bring this up. One ADN program that I'm applying to only requires high school chemistry.

    I'm wondering if the chemistry in nursing school is primarily acid/base disorders and pharmacology (including med administration)?
  7. by   nurse-to-be1000
    How much chemistry would you suggest? I have been accepted to nursing school and would take a chem class but there are none offered locally at night. Do you think it is worth taking chem online? I would just be doing it for more my own edification than for credit.
  8. by   ZooMommyRN
    I am in my 2nd semester and just now taking intro to chem and that's just cuz I have enough financial aid to cover it towards an AS instead of AAS, it's not required, however it has been very helpful to have taken Micro before entering the program, it has helped in every nursing class so far

    Multicolinarity - I'd keep the Micro book as well, I have referred back to mine in Med/Surg this semester during the immunology, AIDS & to reference the infection process to better understand the disease process itself as 1 microbe can cause many different reactions by the body
  9. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from ZooKeeper247
    I am in my 2nd semester and just now taking intro to chem and that's just cuz I have enough financial aid to cover it towards an AS instead of AAS, it's not required, however it has been very helpful to have taken Micro before entering the program, it has helped in every nursing class so far

    Multicolinarity - I'd keep the Micro book as well, I have referred back to mine in Med/Surg this semester during the immunology, AIDS & to reference the infection process to better understand the disease process itself as 1 microbe can cause many different reactions by the body
    *Sigh* I must admit I've been indulging in secret thoughts of having a bonfire with the micro book at the end of the semester. Guess not.
  10. by   tofutti
    I'm a new student, just got my Potter & Perry book and whoa nelly, I'm so glad I took that stinkin' chemistry. Especially when I flip ahead to the fluid and electrolyte chapter.
  11. by   Cosper123
    I have to disagree with the OP. I barely scraped by in Chem and I am doing just fine in the nursing program. And by scape by I mean a 71, and that is what absolutely killed my otherwise great GPA. Also, math really isn't that big of a deal...you won't face anything harder than basic Algebra.

    The thing is with the Chemistry stuff is that it isn't nearly as complicated in the nursing program. It's serious...VERY much so. But Chemistry itself is so broad based that much of it won't even be needed. What is needed, you can easily study up and refresh on. Same thing goes for AnP classes...anything that you learned there that is important for nursing, you can rest assured that it will be addressed again in the Nursing Program.

    The wisdom in the OPs advice is how rough the nursing program is going to be for you. I found myself struggling in areas that I shouldn't have been, as I had to learn some things anew. With that having been said, it hasn't come near to affecting my position in the program, it just means I am working a little harder now. For most people, the program is hard enough and you want to prepare yourself the best you can...

    And so, with that having been said, I do believe the better advice would be to take a medical terminology AND a pharmocology class. Take these two classes and you will not for one second regret it come your time in the nursing program.
  12. by   DesertRain
    Quote from Cosper123
    I have to disagree with the OP. I barely scraped by in Chem and I am doing just fine in the nursing program. And by scape by I mean a 71, and that is what absolutely killed my otherwise great GPA. Also, math really isn't that big of a deal...you won't face anything harder than basic Algebra.

    The thing is with the Chemistry stuff is that it isn't nearly as complicated in the nursing program. It's serious...VERY much so. But Chemistry itself is so broad based that much of it won't even be needed. What is needed, you can easily study up and refresh on. Same thing goes for AnP classes...anything that you learned there that is important for nursing, you can rest assured that it will be addressed again in the Nursing Program.

    The wisdom in the OPs advice is how rough the nursing program is going to be for you. I found myself struggling in areas that I shouldn't have been, as I had to learn some things anew. With that having been said, it hasn't come near to affecting my position in the program, it just means I am working a little harder now. For most people, the program is hard enough and you want to prepare yourself the best you can...

    And so, with that having been said, I do believe the better advice would be to take a medical terminology AND a pharmocology class. Take these two classes and you will not for one second regret it come your time in the nursing program.
    I think each school may be a little different as far as the courses and struggles go. That's why your post stuck out to me because people in the ADN program at my school have said exactly what you are saying about med term and pharmacology class as well as what you said about the math and chem. My school also doesn't require chem, not even highschool chem and most of the people I have spoken too in the program didn't have any problems with chem....so like I said our programs are probably similar where as the OP's courses would reflect that of what she said.
    But, if I have learned 1 thing in my studies so far, it would be to take everything as my own personal experience. To listen to advice given but to only put it in a mental filing cabinet for future use...should I need it. Because listening and believing everything and everyone has gotten me sidetracked a few times. Hearing this is soooooo hard and that is soooooooo hard only to find myself super paranoid and terrified and wind up doing fine in the end and could have spared myself the terror. Some people are better with things than others and that is only humanly natural.
    Thanks!
  13. by   GottaGetIn
    Desert Rain, Your post is inspiring. I think I'll take that approach.

    I was totally getting scared!!!
  14. by   krenee
    Oh, I hate chemistry. But that's not my main issue with the OP's suggestion. The fact is some of us (OK, me!) can't afford to take any extra classes. Heck, I can't afford the classes I HAVE to take. So hopefully I'll be OK without any extra math or chemistry! My BIL is a chemist though, so I have lots of free help if I need it!

    Kelly

close